Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital

Hi all,
I’m going to have a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction done at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. I am very nervous about going there and can’t find any information. Has anyone been treated in this hospital? My breast surgeon recomends to do DIEP or LD flap by their plastic surgeon David Ross. Anyone had reconstruction done by him? Any information or feeback would be very much appreciated.

Me again,
The lady I was next too had this ld flap with implant, by Mr Ross, I saw it 2 days post op, 1 week post op, and met her recently 6 weeks post op and had a look again!, shes doing really well,and I like the result of her new boob, she also had a small implant put in her ‘ok’ boob to help balance, that was without interfering with the nipple in the natural boob too. Whens your surgery date??
Julie x

Julie, thank you so much - it sounds very reassuring. Mr Ross is the only plastic surgeon I’ve seen and really don’t know if there is someone better in London, except Marsden’s own PS’s. But to get them I would have to wait for few weeks, whereas Mr Ross would do it either by the end of this week or early next week. I feel very, very nervous about it. I’m not old and wise enough to accept that there are more important things in your life than boobs, and feel I won’t be able to cope if reconstructed breast doesn’t look good. I hope I offend no-one with my selfishness!

Hi Foxy

My mum had a mastecomy in 2005 at that hospital without reconstruction but they were really great and look after her well.

Good luck with your op.

Chrissie x

Thank you, Chrissie!

I’m going in for a mastectomy and reconstruction at St Thomas’s in early April so do post up how you get on (I’m a Guy’s patient but the PS team is only at Tommies). I haven’t got the name of a surgeon yet but did meet with one who said he’s recomend the IGAP procedure (where they take fat from under your buttock). I too am concerned about the appearance of my reconstructed breast.

I’m 31 and have always really liked my body (I know, it’s rare) and am worried that i’ll feel really disfigured if I don’t get a good job done. I guess we just don’t know til the swelling goes down?! Also, a quick question - can anyone tell me how much scarring you get as a result of having your lymph nodes removed? Is it all under your arm or a fairly small area nearer the breast?

hI CAT76,

I cant answer your lymph node scar quesion as I was lucky and only had 2 nodes removed, small scar left inside my armpit.

I had a TMG and IGAP procedure at St thomas’s, they took photos of my IGAP scar at 6 weeks post op, so ask if you can see them Dr Ho Asjoe did my procedure on november 30th, Im 45 yrs young! you have every right to want to protect your body shape and image and lucky that you have a body you love. the scar in the IGAP area fits neatly in your bum crease. So when it heals will have little impact on the discerning eye. Your ‘new’ boob is something that we all have to adapt to, it isnt the same, its as near as, Im glad I have this new breast to put into a bra, no-one can tell, even in a bra I feel confident and will be wearing vest tops in the summer.If you are already body confident then Im sure you will overcome any difficulty in time, my aunt had a reconstruction 10 yrs ago, she tells me she hardly thinks about it now,and behaves quite freely with her body now- in the nicest possible sense!
Have you chatted to the younger girls here, they will be a good source of ‘airing’ for you too, as well as us!
good luck with your op, when is it??
Julie xx

Hello everyone,
CAT76, I had mastectomy and Ax clearance (they took 24 lymph nodes so had a good dig around) in November. The scar goes across my chest wall and ends about an inch and a half below my armpit. Just went to St Lucia for Xmas and wore swimwear and strappy tops with no evidence of scar. I am quite pleased with that. I have a question. I am desperate for reconstruction as i am a fitness instructor and want to get back to work ASAP. I have 5 more chemos then a month of radio. How soon after radio, if skin heals alright can i have a reconstruction? Does anyone know? Thanks,

Hi Cat76 and everyone,

I’ve done it!!! Came back from the hospital last Monday. Everyone there was very nice and kind to me, I’ve received lots of attention and excellent care.
I used my private insurance, so had separate room with TV and a fantastic view of Big Ben from 12th floor, better than from Mariott next door!
My reconstructed breast is too swollen to see what it would look in months to come. I am 35 and like you worry a lot about my appearance and haven’t accepted my new look yet, in fact I hate it! Especially not that much a new shape, but loss of nipple. My surgeon suggested I should have some counselling, but I am resisting it. I feel like getting external help means that I am not strong enough to cope on my own and admitting a defeat to BC.

I had counselling and it was good to talk to someone outside my situation who listened to how I felt. I find doctors are fixated on the medical aspects of cure, not on the emotional impact. Seeing someone to talk to isn’t really showing you are not strong enough to cope, at least it isn’t in my book. I don’t think of breast cancer as something you have to defeat. To me it is a disease which one day will be subject to better treatments than today. I personally have never felt I am battling with it any more than I battle with a cold. Also I had a completely negative view of breast cancer from day one, I still do and if negative thinking had any effect on breast cancer I should have died long ago.

I’m still here almost five years since I found my lump. Mind you I do believe my breasts looked better pre-surgery although I still have both nipples. i don’t believe that there are many women who have breast surgery who end up with breasts that look better afterwards unless they are exceptionally lucky or their bosoms had not looked that great in the first place. Mine were pretty good for my age and were one of the few parts of my body I was very happy with. I don’t think they look as good now whatever the medics may say and I don’t really see why I should come to terms with this. Sorry to tell you but I still feel the surgery was mutilating four and a half years later. and if I live to 90 as I well might, I will still feel pissed off - I’m afraid that is why I am like


Hi Foxychick,
Well done for getting through the op. I’m sure you will be happy with the result in the end. Counselling may help you with your issues, I did not feel like you, I was glad to get rid of the cancer and delighted to be able to have an immediate recon.
I do not consider the surgery as mutilating despite having an 11inch scar on my back, a 3inch one under my arm and a circle around where the nipple was, it was essential. Today is my birthday and I am more depressed about what the calendar says than the scars. My surgeon goes to a lot of trouble to make sure his patients are happy and I am very pleased with my new boob, it is better than the other now. Unfortunately giving up HRT has made my natural breast age suddenly which was quite a shock, I may be able to have an uplift to firm it up a bit at some stage.
I am booked in for a nipple recon. in June to finish things off, I know it won’t act like a real one, but it should look OK.
Which type of recon. did you have in the end?
It is early days yet for you, keep doing gentle exercises and you should be fine.
Best wishes and good luck

Abismum, I hope you had a good birthday, despite what calendar was saying! :slight_smile:

I wish I could feel like you, but I feel more like Mole. It is not even the scars that upset me, it is a fact that two weeks ago I had nice happy pair of breasts and now I haven’t. Doctors and nurses all say how good reconstruction looks (LD flap + implant), but I see in the mirror mutilated body. Perhaps if I had an invasive cancer I would have been happy grateful to surgeons, but my initial diagnosis was only DCIS that may or may not develop into invasive and I feel that I’ve received a treatment that is way too harsh. But it all could change once I get post-surgery pathology results – that is another of my worries.

Mole, for now I’ve decided to wait for the results first and see how I take it before getting to counselling.

Thanks Foxychick, my birthday was OK.

I have to admit that I don’t know how I would cope if I was faced with this crisis at your age. I still feel the same as I did then, but the mirror and calendar tell different stories!

I’m sure you had the right treatment, I was in hospital with a lady who had mx for DCIS. Believe me, you do not the invasive type. The most agonising wait was to check that it hadn’t spread beyond the breast with the possible months of treatment that would lead to.

I hope you have lots of support from friends and family to help you through this.

The scars will fade. Try to think of them as battle trophies. You have fought the enemy and hopefully won, count that as an achievement!

I wish you well.

Abismum, yes the waiting is the worst.
Just learned from my nurse that results are with my surgeon and I will be told on Monday. Suddenly it is no longer important how my boob is looking.
Oh, God, give me strengths to get through this weekend!!!

Hi Jane,
My PS at St Thomass Hosp was Dr Ho Asjoe, he did my IGAP AND TMG procedure very wonderfully and successfuly.Dr Ross on the same team also probably does it.
Good luck with your decision making, Dr H, has photos of me post op, and will put you in touch via our breast care nurses if you would like to discuss further with me personally.

Love Julie xxx